If you want to truly be able to influence job seekers, you have to know how they think. And what better way to tap into the way we think than to understand social psychology. In our latest whiteboard session, Joe Matar, director of marketing at Brazen, pulls from research down by Robert Cialdini in his book, Influence, and breaks down 4 ways you can use social psychology to influence job seekers.
Joe Matar: Hey, everybody, Joe Matar here with Brazen. I wanted to try something a little bit different today. I wanted to go the whiteboard. I love myself a good whiteboard lesson. What I want to talk about today is ways in which recruiters and talent acquisition professionals can use social psychology in order to influence job seekers and candidates. There’s a great book that was written by Robert Cialdini, the six ways that we can influence other humans.
I think you know here at Brazen, we’re all about putting the human back into the recruiting process. That’s what candidates and job seekers demand, and so we want to get recruiters out from behind their desk, out from doing a lot of the tedious and menial tasks that you tend to be doing, and get you in front of job seekers and candidates to have those conversations because that’s what job seekers, that’s what top talent expect these days.
What better way than to get back into the process and by understanding how the human mind works and how we can influence other human beings. Before I get into the whiteboard, I just wanted to tell a quick little personal story. Actually, this week, my wife and I were selling our Subaru Outback. It was a great car, but it was time to sell it. I went to the dealership the other day. I’m never really excited to go to car dealerships, but went into the dealership, and right away, I was greeted by a sales rep. The first thing he did was offer me a seat. He offered me a glass of water or soda or coffee.
Right away, I’m starting to feel a little bit more comfortable. He sits down. He asks me what I’m trying to do. I tell him I’m trying to sell a car, so he’s not trying to necessarily sell me a car, but he’s looking for a good deal. These dealerships are looking to always buy cars to resell. He starts to get to know me a little bit. We’re talking about sports. We’re talking about my wife. He starts to build this rapport.
Next thing I know, he’s on their website, or on Kelley Blue Book showing me other cars that are just like my Subaru Outback, kind of using some signals from other sellers to help us better get to a price for what I’d be willing to, what he’d be willing to pay me for that car. Then lastly, towards the end of our conversation, towards the end of our negotiation, he pulled in his manager. I think that there’s a lot that we can actually learn from this car salesman, and there’s some points here that will show relate to the influencers that Robert Cialdini talks about in his book.
With that being said, with that personal story being said, let’s break that down a little bit. I actually… In his book, there’s six, Robert Cialdini’s book. I’m actually going to talk about four today, so four of these techniques you can use in your recruiting to recruit top talent better.
Number one, so number one is liking. Liking means that human beings are more likely to say yes to those they like. Now, I think that’s pretty obvious, but the question then becomes what can you do as a recruiter to play into the psyche, to this social psychology technique? Well, I’ve been preaching this for a long time, but number one, I think that you really need to be building your personal brand, and the way you can do that is through video, through social media, through writing content, and so you need to be active, you need to be out there building up your personal brand.
Job seekers don’t want to talk to forms. Job seekers don’t want to just interact with technology. They want to interact with a person, a human being, and they want to interact with a human being they like. Make sure that you are building your brand, your personal brand so that candidates are more likely to come talk to you because they like you and not just your technology or your forms. That’s number one.
Number two: reciprocity. What does reciprocity mean? Well, it’s a quid pro quo. It means if I give to you, give to you, you’re more likely to give to me. Again, how can we apply this to recruiting? Well, the way I see it is that job seekers have tons of options these days, no doubt, and so if they do make the effort to come to your, let’s say your career site or check out one your job reqs and they have questions or if they just want to talk to somebody, you need to be there for them now, right away, when they have that question; otherwise, they’re going to leave. I think just by being there for that person and, let’s say, answering their questions that they have, that’s a gift. That’s something that you’re giving to them. Well, whether consciously are subconsciously, they’re going to be more likely to want to reciprocate that favor that you’ve done for them.
I think after you’ve answered a question for a candidate or if you’re there to chat with that candidate, asking them to take a next-step in a process if you see that candidate or that job seeker as some top talent, so flat-out asking them, “Now that you have your questions answered, please click here to apply to this job,” or, “Click here to schedule an interview with a hiring manager or a recruiter,” so on and so forth. That’s the reciprocity psyche that we all have.
Number three: social proof. We are, as humans, more likely to embark on a journey or buy a product or go work at a company if our peers say that, or people like us say that they have enjoyed the experience, whether that’s a product or a job or some other experience. Social proof can be used by, of course, number one, putting employee testimonials or employee videos right on your career site.
I think the other big thing to think about here though is all the review sites that are out there these days, like at Glassdoor. What is your Glassdoor strategy or how are you translating positive employee experiences into the Glassdoor reviews that are going to act as social proof and encourage top talent to come and explore your organization?
Then lastly here, number four is authority. How can this be used in talent acquisition? Well, I think that this is related to pulling in hiring managers or the team that a candidate or job seeker would be working with if he or she were to get a job at your organization. I think that there’s something more real about involving the hiring managers or the teams, and job seekers or candidates see those people as authority, like, “They know the job really well. I’m going to listen to them. They’re real, authentic. They’re going to be the best spokesperson for whether or not I want to come work with that team,” naturally.
I think that authority is a great way to actually convince hiring managers. If you’re not able to convince the hiring managers to get more involved in the process, walking through with them that this influence really does come back to authority and that they can help drive more candidates or job seekers into the funnel by being more present. There’s four ways that you can tap into the human psyche, social psychology to be a better recruiter, to influence more of those job candidates, and fill up your funnel with more qualified candidates and hopefully hires.
If we tie this back to my original story, my personal story about selling our car to the car salesman, we can see that all four of these influencer techniques were present with that car salesman, and that’s why he was able to get me to sell my car to him and not go somewhere else because there were other dealerships that had reached out and wanted me to come to them.
Number one, liking. He right away tried to build some rapport with me, sports, and talking about my family life. Number two, reciprocity. He offered me water, coffee, tea, soda, whatever it is so that I felt probably self-consciously more obligated to stay there and talk with him, even if the reciprocity wasn’t that I was just going to sell my car based off of coffee or tea, but it was there. The social proof, he pulled up on his website, Kelley Blue Book, and showed me other Subaru Outbacks and the pricing that people were selling them for and so I could get I guess a barometer of where I was compared to other people, so social proof. Then lastly, he pulled in his manager at the end when we were finalizing the negotiations for the car. That authority figure, I think probably spoke to me as well.
Really interested to hear from you to see if you’re using any of these four techniques to influence candidates. Make sure that you’re commenting on this post, as always, and let’s start a conversation. Thanks for joining me here today. Hope this was beneficial, and I’ll be back on whiteboard [inaudible 00:11:00]. Thanks.
P.S. Can we send you an email with our awesome talent acquisition content every week or so?
We won’t overwhelm you and we’ll make it easy for you to unsubscribe if you ever choose to do so.